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Setting Friday Free (A Buzby Beach Novel) Chapter 12


DW is a veteran, a father, a husband, and a teacher. He's published 9 YA/NA novels thus far. The story you're reading might be next.


Garrison turned around slowly. He was sure he knew who made the splash.

"Hi, Garrison," Friday called out. She was wearing her white bikini again, and Garrison saw her sundress on the table at the far end of the pool. "It's about time those other people left."

"Where did you come from?" Garrison asked as calmly as he could. "You weren't here a minute ago."

Friday swam to the edge of the pool closest to Garrison and said, "I just popped in. I was waiting for your friends to leave. Was the pretty one named Laurel the tennis friend you told me about?"

Garrison stiffened. "Were you eavesdropping on us?"

"No, not really. I just hear things," Friday replied. "Why did you kiss her if you don't like her?"

"How did you see us kissing?" Garrison demanded. "Have you been spying on me? You're kind of creeping me out right now."

"I wasn't spying," Friday insisted. "I just happened to see the two of you as I passed by. Don't get yourself all in a tizzy."

"Since you were so close by, why didn't you buzz to come in?" Garrison asked, still eyeing Friday suspiciously. "I could have introduced you to my friends."

"Meeting your friends would have been awkward," Friday claimed. "Especially your tennis player girlfriend. I thought you weren't into her."

"I'm not," Garrison said, and then he clarified. "The girl you saw me kissing wasn't the tennis player. That would be Delaney. The girl I kissed - her name, as you already know, is Laurel. She and I just started dating."

"You didn't mention any Laurel last night when you were kissing me," Friday said with a pout.

"For the record," Garrison pointed out, "you kissed me."


Friday sneered. "You didn't seem to mind."

Garrison shook his head. "Look, Friday, I don't know what kind of game you're playing, but I don't like being a pawn. What are you doing sneaking into my pool every day?"

"If you're going to be like that, I'll just go," Friday said. She pushed away from the pool's edge and swam quickly to the far end.

Garrison returned to the task of putting the pizza boxes in the trash bin. When he looked back at the pool, Friday was gone.

"She made a quick exit," Garrison remarked out loud to himself. "It's like she just disappeared."

He made a quick survey of the yard to ensure Friday wasn't hiding somewhere on the property. His final stop was the spot in the wall where the gate he'd seen her use should have been. Garrison couldn't find any trace of the entrance or the lever she used to open it.

Putting Friday out of his mind, Garrison went into the house and put on some clothes appropriate for visiting Denver's. This entailed adding a St. Mark Mighty Lions t-shirt to his board shorts and putting on his Rainbow flip-flops. He nearly went out the door without his wallet but remembered it at the last instant.

Denver's is bustling with customers

Denver's was busier than it had been the previous night. Laurel barely had time to say hello when he placed his order for a chocolate milkshake and an order of fries. The restaurant was full of teens stopping in after visiting the U20 Club. Garrison had a hard time finding an open table.

By the time Laurel was able to take a break and join him, Garrison had finished his fries, and his shake was half gone.

"We are swamped tonight," Laurel offered as an explanation for Garrison's long wait. "I would have taken my break earlier, but I just couldn't get away from the register."

"Tonight is the last Friday of summer break for most of these high school kids," Garrison reminded her. "For a lot of them, it's back home to someplace too far away for regular trips to the beach. This is the end of summer as far as they're concerned."

"You're right," Laurel said after munching a couple of the fries she brought to the table. "And I'm glad for the business." She pointed at her fries. "Have some if you want. I see you ate all yours."

Garrison smiled but shook his head. "No, thank you. I'm good. After all the pizza, the fries, and this shake, I should probably jog a lap around the island to work it all off."

Laurel laughed and said, "Work a shift back in the kitchen, and you'll use up all those calories."

Garrison put his cup down and said, "Speaking of work, what time are you working tomorrow?"

"Four to close, why?" Laurel replied.

"I was going to ask if you wanted to have dinner and see a movie," Garrison revealed. "If you have to be to work at four, maybe we should make it an early lunch and the afternoon matinee."

"Where were you thinking of taking me to lunch?" Laurel asked with a smile.

Garrison finished his milkshake and then asked, "Do you like the Carolina Ale House on College Road?"

Laurel nodded. Her mouth was full of fries.

"I like it, too, and it's close to the theaters," Garrison said. "Is there a movie you want to see?"

"Surprise me," Laurel challenged him. "A girl can tell a lot about a guy by how he picks a date movie."

Garrison's brows rose. "Can you? I'll try to pick a good flick then. Is there any kind of movie you really don't like to watch?"

Laurel gnawed on the corner of her lip and nodded along to the background music before answering. "Anything but slasher films are okay with me?" She checked the time on her cell phone. "I have to get back to work." She stood up and leaned over the table to give Garrison a quick kiss. "I'll text you my address. You probably need to know where I live if you're going to pick me up."

Garrison laughed and said, "Yes, your address would be a big help in finding your house."


Garrison's story continues in Chapter 13

© 2020 DW Davis

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